Gothic horror, progressive rock and soundtracks create the scene of Karda Estra.
When English composer Richard Wileman was seeking a name for his Gothic chamber music project, he looked to the movies he watched as a kid.
Richard Wileman: I’m a fan of old horror movies and there is a Hammer horror film called Plague of the Zombies and there was a voodoo chant in that goes Karda Estra or Karda Nostra or something along those lines. And, it kind of stuck with me that I was looking for a project name that hopefully nobody else had thought of. And I thought “yeah, nobody has thought about that one” so I used that.
With Karda Estra, Richard Wileman has made albums based on Dracula, written homages to horror actor Peter Cushing and his new album is called Weird Tales, after the pulp horror magazine. But the music of Karda Estra isn’t necessarily macabre. In Karda Estra, Richard Wileman combines orchestral instruments, stacked choirs and the electric guitar. He spent his youth as a headbanger.
Richard Wileman: I learned to play guitar to Black Sabbath. I think I was in the Iron Maiden fan club when I was 14. I don’t think a log a lot of people who listen to Karda Estra can imagine that
Now in his mid forties, Richard Wileman is a genial looking man who appears more like a college professor than metal monster. Even though he’s left the heavy metal behind, its Gothic horror imagery remains in his music where he finds a certain beauty.
Richard Wileman: There is a lot of beauty, mystery, all these kind of delicate themes that are also present in something like a Mary Shelley in Frankenstein or Stoker, and kind of not just in the horror genre. There are themes that we all can think about, love, life and death and all this kind of stuff.
Richard Wileman is an eclectic musician and he tries to bring all of his influences to bear on Karda Estra. The result is, that like many of his inspirations that come from the netherworld, Karda Estra’s music lives between worlds.
Richard Wileman: I needed to create a world for myself where all my influences could be encompassed. I am interested in soundtrack music; I am interested in classical music, experimental music, all these different things.” including I really like lounge music and a lot of library stuff. So, really I created this musical project where any influence and anything that inspired me went.
The latest album from Richard Wileman’s Karda Estra is called Weird Tales on the Cyclops Record Label. I’ll have a fuller interview with Richard Wileman this Monday 8/24/09, on Echoes. This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Music.
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))